Sometime during a child’s first year and a half of life, they pull themselves up on unsteady legs and take their first steps. During those tentative first steps, their minds were truly mindful of the position of their feet, the feel of the floor and the movement of their body. Concentration on walking and only walking happened with a clear, deliberate mind.
Later, as they became more proficient in walking, the act of walking became natural. There now is no thought to what they are doing. They want to get from point A to point B; they just walk.
Mindful walking is not about a destination; it is simply about each step and breathing. Being mindful in the moment!
Mindful Walking is an active, engaging strategy.
Basic Mindful Walking for Children
(This should happen in any large space. However, walking outside, particularly where there is nature around, can be the most rewarding.)
1- Have the child stand and take several belly breathes; allowing their bodies to relax from their head to their toes.
2- They are to soften their eyes and fix their gaze on the ground about 8 feet ahead.
3- Tell the children to smile slightly. Smiling signals the brain that what is happening is pleasant.
4- As they walk, have the children focus on the step of each foot as it rises up and then comes back down to the ground.
5- Periodically, have the children stop and notice one object (flower, stone, stick, leaf, etc) or sound (bird chirping, water trickling, car passing, etc) and spend a few moments appreciating that one moment.
Afterwards, take some time to discuss how this strategy made them feel? How did their body feel?
Don’t forget to share your child’s #mindfulmoment and successes in the comments, on Twitter @Ed_Tmprince or on Facebook at Education’s Voice – Mindfulness ( https://www.facebook.com/educationsvoice/ ).